Spaces of socioeconomic mobility? Educational trajectories and employment outcomes among the children of Caribbean caregivers in Toronto

Authors: Cindy Maharaj*, Department of Geography, York University
Topics: Immigration/Transnationalism, Social Geography, Migration
Keywords: Intergenerational mobility, immigration
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Directors Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


One of the most significant current discussions in social science concerns socioeconomic mobility among the children of immigrants. Since the late 1950s the profile of the Canadian immigrant population has shifted from a European majority to an ethno-racial mosaic—a reflection of geopolitical changes across the globe and the ‘liberalisation’ of racist Canadian law. Second generation immigrants whose parents migrated to Canada during the 1980s and 90s have come of age. The data suggests that there is considerable upward mobility among the children of immigrants. However, labour market access, the class through which first-generation immigrants have been admitted, legal mechanisms, and racism have hindered upward mobility for some immigrant groups, especially Black, Filipino and Latino communities. Canadian scholars have pointed out that immigrating as a caregiver creates difficulties of labour market integration and socioeconomic inequalities among their children. Following these findings, the aim of the study is to investigate the educational trajectories and employment outcomes among the children of Caribbean caregivers in Toronto. Most studies looking at socioeconomic mobility among the children of caregivers in Canada have done so in the Filipino context (children of the Live-in Caregiver Program). Also, while studies have examined the barriers faced by Black-Canadian youth in schools and link poor outcomes to rampant racism, the outcomes have not been explicitly linked to the migration of Caribbean women as caregivers. The research takes a qualitative approach and uses life history interviews with 10 Caribbean caregivers and their children to achieve these objectives.

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